SINGAPORE – Senator Antonio Trillanes IV flew to Singapore on Monday afternoon to debunk allegations that he is maintaining offshore bank accounts.
Trillanes is scheduled to visit on Tuesday morning a branch of DBS Bank where, according to President Rodrigo Duterte, the senator has 193,000. Duterte did not specify the currency of the said amount.
Duterte said Trillanes’ alleged account with the DBS in Singapore is numbered 178000296012.
Trillanes is confident that he will be able to prove Duterte wrong. “Pupunta ako sa banko mismo na minention ni Duterte doon sa Singapore para patunayan na wala akong accounts doon,” Trillanes said.
“Dito mapapakita na hindi lang sa wala akong tinatago, kung hindi kung gaano siya kasinungaling,” Trillanes told reporters.
According to Duterte, Trillanes’ account with the DBS is under the name “Antonio F. Trillanes.” The senator’s full name is Antonio Fuentes Trillanes IV.
“Kung ano man yan, may the IV man yan o walang IV, sarado man yan or existing account, joint or single, lahat yan papabuksan natin. Para makita ng mga kababayan natin na ginagamit ni Duterte yung kapangyarihan niya para siraan yung oposisyon at para i-divert yung issue palayo doon sa issue laban sa kanya at doon sa kanyang anak na invovled na illegal drugs,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes had accused Duterte’s son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, of being behind the so-called Davao Group, which collects bribes in exchange for the facilitation of shipments outside the Bureau of Customs (BOC). Trillanes had also accused Paolo of being part of a drug triad.
Trillanes will also visit a branch of HSBC. One of the bank accounts he’s being accused of owning is with “Hong Kong Shanghai Bank” at the Raffles Branch. He earlier said such bank is “bogus.” HSBC stands for The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.
“Gusto ko malaman na agad para hindi na tumagal yung issue pa so kailangan, definitively, ma-resolve natin yung issue, malaman natin yung kung totoo o hindi,” Trillanes said.
Once Duterte is proven wrong, Trillanes said the President should sign bank secrecy waivers to prove he is not hiding anything. The senator had accused Duterte of having more than P2 billion in hidden wealth.
“I went to such great lengths to prove na wala akong tinatagong nakaw na yaman. Siya nga ngayon, may paratang sa kanya, kailangan ipakita niya na hindi siya kurakot. Pumirma siya ng waiver, ngayon na,” Trillanes said.
Trillanes had previously submitted to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) bank secrecy waivers covering 12 accounts he is being accused of owning.
Apart from supposedly owning the Singapore account, Duterte said Trillanes has a bank account in Zurich, Switzerland, which has a balance of $75,000 or some P3.8 million.
Duterte alleged that Trillanes’ money came from earning millions of pesos while traveling to China around the time the country supposedly lost control of Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal).
“Iyong kinita niya sa China, he was going back and forth about eight or nine times to China and iyon iyong nag-accumulate ang pera niya. But that was the time we lost the Scarborough Shoal,” Duterte said.
Trillanes was tapped by former President Benigno Aquino III to do backchannel talks with China after a tense standoff in the area in 2012.
“It’s another lie, ‘di ba? Papaano ako kikita diyan, ano ba ko, senador lang ako eh, ‘di ba? Ano ako, may hawak akong deed of sale?” Trillanes said.
“Noong natapos yung aking backchannel negotiations, napaalis lahat yang mga barko na yan. Tatalo na lang ang naiwan na nasa labas ng Scarborough Shoal at nawala yung tension wihout surrendering even a single inch of our territory,” he said.